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Simpler recycling regulations unveiled by government to make bin day easier





More frequent rubbish collections and schemes to cut the ‘excessive’ number of bins some households have are among new government plans that could overhaul the way councils collect people’s waste.

A ‘common sense approach’ that makes bin day simpler for people is being promised by ministers who have set out the ways in which they plan to standardise collections and put a stop to ‘the confusing patchwork’ of different approaches local authorities in England currently have.

The plans would allow councils to cut back on the number of bins homes use. Image: iStock.
The plans would allow councils to cut back on the number of bins homes use. Image: iStock.

In outlining the new policy this week, recycling minister Robbie Moore has said he wants to see more straightforward recycling across the country in which the exact same materials can be collected from homes, workplaces and even schools.

The new Simpler Recycling legislation, which he says will help boost recycling rates, also proposes:

*Allowing all councils to collect plastic, metal, glass, paper and card in one bin in all circumstances.

*Permitting food and garden waste to be able to be co-collected.

*An expectation that all councils will collect black bin waste fortnightly

*Weekly collections of food waste from all councils

The new rules, claims Mr Moore, will reduce confusion over what items can and can’t be recycled as people will no longer have to check what their specific council accepts.

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs says it is also already actively encouraging councils to make rubbish collections as frequent as possible to prevent smelly waste from building up outside of homes.

Councils wil be expected to always conduct weekly food waste collections. Image: iStock.
Councils wil be expected to always conduct weekly food waste collections. Image: iStock.

In promising councils that they will be able to maintain the flexibility to collect in a way that still works for their local area, Robbie Moore said: “We all want to do our bit to increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill – but a patchwork of different bin collections across England means it can be hard to know what your council will accept.

“Our plans for simpler recycling will end that confusion: ensuring that the same set of materials will be collected regardless of where you live.”

The government says the plans will also help boost recycling in England. Image: iStock.
The government says the plans will also help boost recycling in England. Image: iStock.

The new plans, explains DEFRA, will apply to all homes in England, including flats.

Similar measures will also be applied to other premises such as businesses, hospitals and universities while places of worship, charity shops, hotels and public meeting places will also come under the scope of the new Simpler Recycling rules.

Simpler Recycling regulations could overhaul the ways in which councils collect waste. Image: iStock.
Simpler Recycling regulations could overhaul the ways in which councils collect waste. Image: iStock.

The new legislation could be introduced from March next year - with a potential deadline for councils to implement the reforms of April 1, 2026.

However some concerns have already been raised by those representing district councils, who are fearful of the costs that could be attached to bringing in the new rules.

The government says its latest plan for bin collections build on existing efforts to increase recycling and reduce waste that include the ban on single-use plastics, charges for single-use plastic carrier bags and a pledge to deal with the environmental impact of disposable vapes.



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